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Miriam Mlambo's death a great blow to culture sector
Cultural Fund of Zimbabwe Trust
August 31, 2008
The passing on of Mbuya
Miriam Mlambo is one of the greatest tragedies to the culture sector
She was nothing less
than a traditional vessel embodying, defending and imparting the
traditions and culture of our country and passing them on to the
young. Mbuya took on the role of "tete" and "mbuya"
to the young in the urban communities who were greatly affected
by the urban rural demarcations.
Arguably the best female
radio presenter for children's programmes such as "nguva
yevana vadiki" on the then Radio 2 and later on Radio Zimbabwe.
Ambuya Mlambo as she was affectionately known to all started her
career as a radio announcer at the then Federal Broadcasting of
Rhodesia and Nyasaland in August 1956.
A combatant in her on
right, she fought colonial inequalities to graduate with a teaching
diploma and later a diploma in nursing which she put aside to pursue
a career in radio presentation, at a time when issues of racism
and sexism were rampant and still distinguished herself.
She was one of the first
black people to go into broadcasting in Rhodesia, an astonishing
achievement given that she was doubly damned as an African and a
Ambuya Mlambo also acted
in TV dramas famously making an appearance on the popular Shona
drama "Gringo" Ndiani" on Zimbabwe's local
broadcaster, the then ZTV. She was as well the brand ambassador
for some commercials.
Some of her shows on
radio and TV included Farai Vana Vadiki, Potonjere, Look and Listen,
and Crystal Sweets Corner, broadcast in both Shona and English.
She played a crucial
role in the preservation of Shona folklore and in keeping the young
generations interested in this invaluable tradition through the
radio programmes that sought to teach in a fun way that was appealing
to the young and the young at heart. As a woman issues pertaining
to the girl child were close to her heart and she strove to instill
dignity and self respect to the girl as evidenced by the content
of her shows.
She spoke strongly about
the ills brought about by social decadence where boys and girls
no longer behaved morally and were being influenced by technology
and picking up ways and tradition foreign to them.
Ambuya Mlambo should
forever be etched in the cultural history of Zimbabwe as she brought
up the younger generations through her teachings and insightful
For a woman who had achieved
so much her selflessness is commendable, she chose to give back
to society and the youth in a way that went above and beyond any
call for duty. The heroine status she accorded does not adequately
capture all she achieved.
The Cultural Fund of
Zimbabwe Trust joints the rest of the country in the mourning Mbuya
Miriam Mlambo. Although death robbed us of her energy and personality,
her contributions to the culture sector are an inspiration many
will continue to draw from.
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